Born in Gumma Prefecture in 1947 Miyako Ishiuchi lives and works in Tokyo. In 1970 Ishiuchi left the textile department at Tama Art University, where she had been majoring in weaving and shorlty thereafter began to take photographs. In her numerous exhibitions and publications as of 1975, the year of her first solo exhibition, Ishiuchi has repeatedly explored the theme of time. The surfaces of human skin, buildings in a state of decrepitude and the very photographic paper she uses have served as vehicles for this exploration. In many of Ishiuchi’s publications, such as 'Apartment', the Japanese concept of 'ma' - the space between things or between matters, the sense of time, coincidence, or changing situations - also reinforces Ishiuchi’s examination of time. In 'Apartment' from 1978, Ishiuchi studied an old apartment building in a state of grave disrepair upon which were left the traces of generations of former residents.
Ishiuchi won the Kimura Ihei Award in 1979 and has been included in many Japanese and international exhibitions, including Japanese Art After 1945: Scream against the Sky (1994) at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Prospect ’66 (1996) at the Frankfurt Art Museum. In 2005 she represented Japan at the Venice Biennale. In 2009, she received the 50th Mainichi Art Award and was invited to participate in the Third ICP Triennal in New York. Her Hiroshima series was exhibited at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, Canada, from 2011 to 2012. In 2014 she received the prestigious Hasselblad award. Her solo exhibition titled “Postwar Shadows' was held at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles from October 2015 until 21 February 2016.
Ishiuchi's work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco and the Art Institute of Chicago.